AUGUST 12TH – SEPTEMBER 24TH 2021
Nairobi/ Barcelona/ Accra/ Kampala/ Berlin/ Dar es Salaam/ Bangalore/ Gaborone/ London
How can we connect and collaborate with other creatives in meaningful ways that push our artistic practice?
East African Soul Train (EAST) – a pop-up residency centred around a journey on Tanzania’s historic railway – founded in 2016 and stewarded by experimental artist Gigi Hepp, seeks to explore just that. However, the fourth edition, scheduled for summer 2020, was rendered impossible because of the global pandemic. The increased use of virtual platforms has opened up opportunities for expanding networks and working with new people, but some of the powerful, affective and generative qualities of physical experiences have been lost in this translation.
This interdisciplinary artist residency and research programme - produced by EAST and supported by African Culture Fund, Goethe Institut Tanzania and Goethe Zentrum Kampala - kicks off on the 12th August and will bring virtual and offline worlds together in experimental ways, investigating how key elements of this intense journey, which catalyses connection, collaboration and cutting-edge work across geographies and disciplines, can be adapted and translated using low-tech technology and gamified approaches.
The residency will engage 13 cutting-edge contemporary artists from across Africa, India and Europe working in different disciplines (theatre/technology/visual art/music/fashion/poetry) including Delasi Nunana (Ghana), Ibiye Camp (UK/Nigeria), Chief Nyamweya (Kenya) and Diya Naidu (India). Over the course of five weeks artists will be guided through and invited to co-create a process virtually that inspires them to play, to share perspectives, to challenge their peers, take risks and create new collaborative work, for on and offline audiences. The residency explores the theme ‘lost + found’: "At a time when the world is experiencing a global sense of loss, we want to explore both loss and regeneration from a personal and communal perspective. How can our artistic practices help us un-pack the pieces and re-imagine new futures?" explains Artistic Director Maïmouna Jallow.
This is an experimental residency: we want to understand what works for artists – what enables them to connect, collaborate and catalyse new artistic practice virtually – as well as what doesn’t. According to Creative Producer Dr Poppy Spowage, who is leading the research component: ‘we are inviting artists to join us as researchers, documenting and debriefing our experiences collaboratively, to share insights with a wide range of stakeholders and contribute to rethinking international programming in the future'.
What we will produce together:
A vibrant network of connected creatives working across three different continents;
new interdisciplinary creative work;
a hybrid (virtual/physical) performance exploring new ways to share work with audiences;
a collaborative research report and webinar to document our learnings and share artists experiences with a wide range of stakeholders and through media partners.
Further Details on Collaborating Artists (Alphabetic Order):
Checkmate Mido: Performing Artist/Musician/Poet/Actor/Beatboxer (Kenya)
Chief Nyamweya: Illustrator/Animator (Kenya)
Delasi Nunana: Musician/Singer/MC (Ghana)
Diya Naidu: Choreographer/Dancer (India)
Gigi Hepp: Musician/Visual Artist/Filmmaker (Berlin/Kenya)
Ibiye Camp: Mixed-Media Artist/Architect/Fashion Designer (UK/Sierra Leone)
Kat Kol Kes: Performance Artist/Musician/Writer (Botswana)
Kevin Karanja: Digital mixed media artist (Kenya)
Lilian Nagabbala: Creative artist/Model/Stylist/Dancer/Choreographer (Uganda)
Maïmouna Jallow: Storyteller/Playwright/Theatre & Film Director (Kenya/Spain)
Pamela Enyonu: Mix-media/Photography/Visual Art (Uganda)
Valerie Amani: Curator/Mix-Media Artist (Tanzania)
Zuhura the African Lioness: Poet/Visual Artist/Singer/Activist (Tanzania)
Further details on EAST and Partners:
East African Soul Train: a pop-up residency and creative adventure on East Africa’s historic tracks, bringing together artists, stakeholders and audiences from different disciplines and geographies to expand artistic practice, foster collaborations, build inclusive networks and reimagine perspectives (https://www.eastsoultrain.global/ @EastSoulTrain).
Freehand Studios: a visual arts and education company committed to the positive transformation of African society through socially impactful content and experiences creating compelling, inclusive and culturally relevant content in the form of illustrated books, graphic novels, animations and creative education courses (https://www.freehandmovement.com @ freehandstudioske)
Positively African: an arts and media company creating content and curating events which celebrate African stories and heritage. Using different mediums, from audio stories to theatre productions, we work with artists from across the continent on a range of projects with long-lasting social impact in the literary and performance space (https://www.positivelyafricanmedia.com/ @PositivelyAfrican (FB and Insta) @PstvlyAfrican (Twitter)).
Ugly Duck: Operating since 2012, Ugly Duck is a London based arts organisation that supports under-represented voices and emerging artists. Their programme enables makers, community groups, professionals and the public to come together around unique cultural experiences and curated events (http://uglyduck.org.uk/ @weareuglyduck (Insta) @WeAreUglyDuck (Twitter)).
Nafasi Arts Space: Nafasi Art Space is a vibrant art centre and platform for artistic exchange in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where contemporary visual artists and performing artists come together to create, learn, inspire, exhibit and perform. (https://www.nafasiartspace.org/ @nafasiartspace (Insta/Twitter/Youtube/FB)
Lost + Found is supported by:
African Culture Fund: The Fund aims to contribute to the writing and creation of new narratives of positive social change in Africa through innovative projects that it funds (https://www.africanculturefund.net/en/ @africanculturefund (Insta)).
Goethe Institut Tanzania: The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. They promote the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural exchange. (https://www.goethe.de/ins/ts/en/index.html @goethetanzania (Insta) @GI_Daressalaam (Twitter) @goetheinstitut.tanzania (FB)).
Goethe Zentrum Kampala: The Goethe-Zentrum Kampala is an apolitical and non-profit organisation (cultural society) based in Kampala. It is a cooperation partner of the Goethe-Institute that annually supports creative projects that support the cultural industry in Uganda. (https://goethezentrumkampala.org/ @gz_kampala (Insta/Twitter) @GoetheZentrumKampala (FB)).
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org | eastsoultrain.global/lost-found | @eastsoultrain